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>> gong never said at the outset that the records had been deleted they never told mr. wooding that his records had been deleted that did not come up until right at the end of the sotf process that he was finally told that they were, in fact, deleted. and had he been told that earlier he could have asked earlier that back up tapes be searched. mr. saint crox's to dismiss, that is hue in fact what miss gong should have done is referred mr. wooding to the department of technology and information services which is a city agency which must bypass mr. saint croix's awareness. >> she should have referred george to dtis, the second
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thing... >> mr. >> that she did not do... >> thank you, your three minutes is up. >> the private public partnership that she had an obligation. >> the private entities >> we have a lot of speakers today. >> sometimes... good evening i am a greg miller and a resident of san francisco for 30 years and i am not an expert on the sunshine law and so please bear with me if some of my comments seem general. i wanted to point out one thing, mr. gingsberg asked for the city to be included in this meeting, but one of the first letters called on april 20th which he signs on the director of public affairs here is the
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san francisco rpd basically says that this is a deeply bias panel with no interest in discussing facts i am hopeful that you will cancel the panel and put on a more balanced approach. i mean that here we have basically using the official title, the city employee highly paid up in the department, basically requesting a private club that puts on a lot of controversial presentation to scotch this one. and that is the pattern here. the underlying pattern is the number of city officials, paid employees as well as city commissioners basically went out of their way to use their official titles, and approach a private entity in discourage a public meeting on public affairs. and they did it by basically saying, these people are unqualified, these people are bias, these people will insight
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the public, this is totally inappropriate, please do not have this meeting. that to me, as just an individual as a citizen is deeply disturbing. our country is based on the principle of public being able to get together to discuss issues. we may not always agree with each other, that is fine. but the point is that we have to have the faith that our government is not going to turn on us and do everything in their power and their prestige to try to prevent people from speaking all that it will do ultimately is deeply under mine our faith, and our desire to work with our own government which is our government. all of our government. so that is why this is very important and i ask you to consider very seriously, that they said these records were not there because everybody had deleted them.
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>> whatever the case is, these records should not have been deleted they pertain to the basic import rights and interest of the public. and these people were involved in basically saying these people should not have a right to speak in public and meet in public and that i find deeply disturbing as a citizen, as a member of this society. thank you very much for your time. >> good afternoon, again commissioners, dr. derek kurr. mr. ginsberg mentioned something about 300 e-mails a day. but, some of those are just junk e-mails and there are going to be inquiries about what time the park opens or the swimming pool closes. and we know that this was an important issue, this was not
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trivial matter. the individuals involved in this correspondence and this lobbying back and forth are important individuals in this city. this is not the kind of correspondence that one deletes because it is of no value as a record. one deletes this information to conceal what it contains. mr. wooding said that there is a bigger issue here. the bigger issue is one of ethics. now, this matter can be reduced and narrowed down to a technical, legal point. that will make it much easier to dismiss this case as virtually every other sunshine case has been dismissed.
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but, this is an ethics commission. it would be nice if there were a professional emphasis here. even so there isn't. it would be good if once in a while the ethical dimension of the behaviors that you are hearing about would be considered rather than just be loop holes and technicalities of the law, thank you very much. >> thank you, very much. >> it looks like people are lining up. >> i am sorry. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is nancy wo rkul >> mr. ginsberg is guilty of willful disobedience of the sunshine ordinance, he is a
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attorney and he knows not to use a smoking gun at a computing, not only he is adept, he has motive for his actions. he absolutely did not want to a discussion about a controversial decision made by him to be aired in a public forum that he could not control. he knows how to use his influence as a general manager of rec and park to intimidate people. he and others had every intention to cancel or change the format of the planned discussion of the golden gate to be held at the common wealth club, any e-mails were instantly deletes not because of the deep commitment to the record retention policy, but because ginsberg knows that the sunshine law requires disclosures he is not stupid. had it been true that the destruction was implementing the policy and this should have been stated to mr. wooding at the outset. the disclosure that there were once e-mails but they were
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indeed destroyed according to regulations would have led to the next requirement in the sunshine ordinance which is to assist in referring him to someone who could help him with his records request. miss gong should have referred him to the department of technology did recovering the deleted e-mails since her technology staff could not help. let us not kid ourselves mr. ginsberg attempted a cover up of an ill advised attempt to influence the private entity to have a open panel discussion about the development in the famous park and wanted to use his position to exert power over the public who were exercising their first amendment rights of freedom of speech and assembly. the sunshine act and the brown act were created specifically to facilitate people and helping people to find out such misuses of power by trusted officials there is nothing innocent about erasing these, he is guilty as charged.
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the regulations for violations of the sunshine ordinance calls for you commissioners to consider all of the relevant circumstances surrounding this case, he must consider his motive in his actions to destroy the evidence. the code of ethics the commission requires that you set the highest standards of conduct. including the appearance of propriety of the operation of government and to assure public confidence in his governing institutions. i am holding you to this code of ethics today and awaiting your decision that will assure the public that we should have confidence in our city government. thank you. >> steven warfield and i am not familiar with the details of the case nor am i a party to it. but i must say that i was taken
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aback by mr. ginsberg the dog ate it defense. first of all what parks policy was he following? if indeed he claims that he was following it i think that you should certainly ask under what policy was he destroying these documents? and i should back up and say that i support mr. wooding's request and position as many of you other folks previously have said. i would like to read to you section 67.29-7, correspondence and records shall be maintained, section a. the mayor and all department heads shall maintain and preserve in a professional and business-like manner, all documents, and correspondence,
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including but not limited to letters, e-mails, drafts, memos, invoices, reports and proposals and shall disclose all such records in accordance with this ordinance. >> that does not allow for the dog ate it or it was not important enough document or some such reasoning. i will read it again in fun, it is one sentence. 67.29-7, correspondence and records shall be maintained, section a. the mayor and all of the department heads shall maintain and preserve in a professional and business-like manner all documents and correspondence including but not limited to letters, e-mails, drafts, memo, invoices, reports and proposals and shall disclose all such
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records in accordance with this ordinance. thank you. >> good evening, honorable commissioners. it is a honor to stand before you, i have watched you on tv quite a bit and i appreciate your dedication, i know this is not an easy job. you know on a good day. my name is susan dumont and i am a person who is actually been successful in getting a sunshine violation against reckation and park in 2010. so having had that, it was the order of determination was issue to them that they were in violation, it is clear that under phil ginsberg they knew exactly what the sunshine task force was all about, what their obligations were and he is an attorney and we know that he knows what he is doing here. it is most egregious to me that
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in the city of stfrancis we are paying people to deceive us and i hope that you folks will do the right thing tonight. this was deception from the beginning to the end and the e-mails luckily that george wooding has put together for you and i think that you can see from george wooding this is probably not where he would like to be tonight he has a family and he has other needs and interests. we all would like to be someplace else. but this is important. this is our city. this is a democracy. and you cannot let a few people with other interests take it away, and abuse us. the public trust is being abused by rec and park and i hope that it will stop here. thank you very much. >> this reminds me of the missing 11 minutes from the nixon case.
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>> unfortunately, for mr. ginsberg, unfortunately for former president nixon there were back up tapes. when the sunshine request came in, the designated custodian of record had an obligation to search everything for the requested records. the suggestion in the good government guide that they are trash is just nonsense. if you look at the act it defines the public records as any writing containing information relating to the comment of the public's business prepared used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics and the
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writing includes, among other things every other means of recording upon any tangible thing, communication, representation, including letters, words, and any record there by created regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored. the fact that the custodian of records did not look through to see if they had been saved is a violation in and of itself. and the fact that mr. ginsberg has been able to get away with it is a flagrant violation, thank you. >> good evening, my name is
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jamie quak and i know george because we are delegates for the san francisco neighborhoods. and i know him as a person who spends a lot of time on matters concerning the city. he personally volunteers to research different issues and writes long articles in the newsletter for the coalition. and he hold him in high esteem that i have hold a lot of comments about the articles that he write and also he is held in high esteem that i personally nominated him for the excom committee and when the first vice president position came open he was nominated for the possible and now he is the first vice president of the coalition for san francisco neighborhoods. so i just wanted to say that he is a person who really loves san francisco and dedicates a lot of personal time to informing neighborhoods about the city. thank you.
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>> good evening f, my name is studo and i also was on a coalition of san francisco organization for over 45 organizations. i don't... come to this commission, but i am interested because of this in this case, mr. wooding has explained to the coalition members and readings about all of the details going on with rec and park and some of their, well, healthy, has changed from serving the public good and now, raising the revenues at the expense of having to park for the public. and now, in hearing about this case, it seems quite obvious, now, the sunshine task force,
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they have come to a conclusion and they are volunteers and i don't think that they have any tax to grind and came up with a conclusion, that the sunshine ordinance was violated. clear by, and i cannot understand how their findings could be over turned. in some cases what is it? you need (inaudible) the red bean bag and asked for a instant replay. the replay could only be... the judge could only over turn the evidence that there was a mistake that was made. and i can't say how anyone
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could come to that conclusion, in this situation. you know, there was a violation, and this thing about they did not keep the records. well, it says, clearly, that this is a piece of information and e-mail that should have been kept and that the sunshine ordinance supercedes policy and the rec and park should have kept the e-mails and produced them when asked. one more thing. this is to me, it seems like a cover up, you know and water gate it was not just a crime it was a cover up that was the bigger problem. and in here i see the same case and i see the cover up. and i think that if you allow this to go through and slip through, the public confidence
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needs to be, you know, in order to have good government you got to have people who believe in the government and you people, certaining the city as a ethics commission you need to come to the right conclusion, don't let the cover up be rewarded. >> commissioners, ray hartz director of san francisco government. and i like to reiterate and agree with the comment of a lot of the other speakers, which is as it does seem that their policy in the department is one of everybody decides whatever the heck they are going to do and does whatever way they want to do it and then the department feels no responsibility at all to try to correct the mistakes they make because they have not got clear direction. the rbd staff, the parks and recreation should not be allowed to unny laterally
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decide employee by employee whether they will delete the records and not follow the sunshine ordinance or the brown act or the california public records act. and also like to make a comment on mr. ginsberg's request that you find in favor of what the staff has recommended. well, he is going to say that, because every single time a case comes before you, the staff recommends no violation. even in cases where they have a clear conflict of interest such as my last case, because there was a finding against this body and your executive director for violating the same 150-word summary problem. and he saw no problem at all saying that there should not be a violation which basically results in a case if we find the violation against mr. herrera, mr. hartz may be back here trying to get a violation against me. and he saw no problem with that. none at all. and if i recommend no
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violation, and we could say, precedent has been set and the case comes before me we could say that i did not violate the law either, i think that is very, very convenient, basically you can't have someone giving you advice which you rely on totally and they are unwilling to be honest about the fact that they may be affected by the decisions that you make. and a simple fact that you say, oh, the city attorney can interpret these laws, the other bodies like the task force even though the law specifically says that they are the ones to interpret it, can't, is real hypocracy >> interpretation is allowed and then there can be different opinions, you can't say that the task force can't interpret it if the city attorney can.
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the task force can add to it but the city attorney can. >> even though in the law it says that the bodies to do it, and yet, the city attorney who has absolutely no right to do it, can do it not with a legal decision, but with simply writing a memo. >> good evening, commissioners my name is katherine howard i was one of the panelists at the common wealth club and i am member of the friends of the music club and the presidential alliance. i am a architect and i have been involved in park reservation it started with saving the trees in gold on gate park, since that time i have found it necessary to keep an eye on various projects planned for the park. golden gate park is really the prize for those people who see
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park land as free land for building their pet project from the proposed 1915 world's fair expocysing that would have wiped out the park to the freeways that were going to be built through the park. >> the soccer fields are a development. it could remove 7 acres of grass and replace it with artificial turf, it will add over 150 lots of sports lighting right next to the ocean beach, it will be on until ten every night of the year, ruining the wild life habitat and the beach experience for those who come to view the sunset to sit by the fire or gaze at the stars. lack of transparency regarding this project was evidence from the beginning, it was presented to the organized sports community of a full six months before there were know public hearings. public comment at city hearings as you know is limited to 3 minutes compared to the unlimited time given to city departments.
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what was needed was a place dedicated to free speech for a qualified panel of experts to discuss the complete picture of past, present and future threats to golden gate park. >> i was frankly appalled when i learned of the e-mails written by the rec and park department. i had suggested this panel discussion and by doing so, i had exposed respected professional panel members to personal attack. and i am shocked, i am really shocked that members of our city government, try to stifle free speech and to have this panel discussion canceled and denied that they had tried to do that. >> all that we were asking for was 50 minutes, to present our love of golden gate park. we are very grateful that the common wealth club stood by its principles and let the expert panel hold this discussion. >> i recommend that you go to
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our website ssocean edge as in san francisco, dot org and view the presentation and judge for yourself. >> free speech and transparency are vital to open government and must be preserved at all costs. thank you. >> >> commissioners, juddy berkowitz president for the association of san francisco neighborhoods. i would like to point out that mr. wooding is an investigative reporting and investigates with depth and accuracy. i urge you to up hold the findings and decision of the sunshine task force and the recommendation based on that to find the respondents have
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violated sunshine ordinance session 67.25.26,.27 and.21 c. >> and site them accordingly. this follows, the private event was organized at a private venue. the government gets wind of this, private event and finds it threatening. you succeeds to change the private event. the private event coordinators sunshine the government for the documents that they used to change this event. it, the government... after they were sunshined, the government says that it has no records. the complainant changed those records from a third party.
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when confronted by these records, the government changes its tune and says that it has, they were there, but, they were deleted. so, if you believe that they actually deleted them, or not? if they were actually there, when they were sunshined or not? is beside the point. the point is that as so many others have made or have pointed out, is that there is a violation, please find them guilty and site them accordingly, thank you. >> i am bruce wilf and i am the associate chair of the task force there were a lot of comments that were made and i
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am not going to repeat them. but one that was mentioned is what this department relies on with regards to records retention and that is their own records retention policy which is contained in your package. and now, in it, it specifies the specific section of our city code, which is administrative code 8.1, now since there is kind of a feeling that you must determine whether the task force is determination is valid or not, let's go straight to the law that actually governors what the retention must be. and that also includes the sunshine ordinance. now, under 8.1, if you notice on page 2 of the retention policy, in category 4, it states in the first sentence that documents and other materials that ar

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March 5, 2013 9:30am-10:00am PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY San Francisco 9, Mr. Ginsberg 7, The City 5, Us 4, Mr. Wooding 3, Brown 2, Steven Warfield 1, Wooding 1, Mr. Gingsberg 1, Dr. Derek Kurr 1, Greg Miller 1, Sunshined 1, Ginsberg 1, Reckation 1, Phil Ginsberg 1, Bruce Wilf 1, Mr. Herrera 1, Mr. Hartz 1, City 1, California 1
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